“ Brand: Marks & Spencer „
For me Christmas is a wonderful time of the year. You've got the festive spirit in the air, people are generally a bit more good natured, and most of us get some time off work, which is always welcome. And let's not forget the food and the presents! I like to think that I'm not too hard to buy for. I'm cursed with a sweet tooth so I always welcome gifts that will satisfy my seemingly never-ending craving for something sweet. I'm not one of these fussy sweet-eaters either - I'll eat anything, even the cheap own brand sweets from supermarkets. Oh yeah, my standards are nonexistent as long as I get my sugar fix. Or so I thought... Right, let's get back to Christmas. Last year, among the presents my sister very generously purchased for me, there was a small to medium sized boxy little gift. After a gentle shake and squeeze I'd optimistically predicted it to be a confectionery based item. I got torn into it with my standard high level of enthusiasm, and was eventually (my sister's one of these people who likes to make sure her presents are securely wrapped, using at least half a roll of gift tape) able to confirm my earlier suspicions. I held in my hands a little blue Marks & Spencer box with the words 'Soft Nougat' on it. Nougat? Hmmmm. An interesting choice. Nougat isn't to everyone's taste and not something I'd classify as a 'safe' gift. But luckily, as we've learnt earlier, I'll eat pretty much any sweet so nougat was fine by me. A good enough present I thought, and I didn't really give it any more consideration until the other day. You see, I got a few different sweet presents this Christmas, so I was able to prioritise which ones I wanted to eat first and then steadily work my way through the priority list from the good stuff, down to the more average 'it'll do in an emergency when I've nothing else' type stuff. A few days ago I reached that level. I went into my sweet reserves and pulled out my box of soft nougat. It was only at this stage that I really gave the gift any proper attention. Not only was it soft nougat, but it was 'a selection of Belgian dark chocolate coated & uncoated nougat pieces, with pistachio nuts, roasted almonds & hazelnuts'. What?? Nuts?? Well doesn't sound promising. Don't get me wrong, I like some occasional nuts. Well I say 'nuts', but really they have to peanuts or cashews and they have to be honey roasted or covered in sugar or at least some sort of artificial flavouring, to such an extent that they really could be brought into question under the trade descriptions act as to whether they can still be defined as 'nuts', for me to eat them. There was a handy little picture of the nuts on the box, and this did not encourage me greatly. They looked pretty nasty. I had another quick check in the cupboard to see if there was anything else I could have, but there was nothing. Even all the timeouts from the big tin of Miniature Heroes had gone, and they always seem to hang around for ages. There was nothing for it; I'd have to give the nougat a chance. Hey, who knows I might even like it! This could be the start of a new healthier (no, seriously) eating habit for me. Right, let's give these bad boys a try. Inside the box you'll be 'greeted' by 13 individually wrapped sweets. I got a chocolate covered one and popped it in my mouth. It soon popped back out again - it tasted pretty awful! Basically it was just a chewy version of normal, dry-tasting pistachios/hazelnuts. However, if you like raw, untreated nuts, and nougat, you'll be in heaven. You can try scraping the chocolate off (believe me I did try) and just eat that, but it's far too much work for very little reward. The 'taste enjoyment' to 'effort' ratio is completely the wrong way round! Plus it's not even nice chocolate! And the nuts are all chopped up and plentiful, it's impossible to eat around them. The whole thing is just one big disaster. And on top of all this I'm now wondering does my sister know me but at all!!! Why did she buy me these? I thought we got on ok, but surely she must hate me? Why would she put me through this ordeal? While I contemplate this, have a look at the nutritional stats below (as if it even matters): Chocolate coated piece: Energy - 60kcal Sugar fat - 6.5g Sat. Fat - 1.5g (The uncoated ones have slightly less sat fat) If for some reason after reading this review you would like to buy some of this product, you will find it in Marks & Spencer shops all over the UK and it costs £3.49 for a 156g box (according to their website).